Saturday, November 11, 2023

Sorting through books

The ever wise and lovely Mrs ERJ asked me to sort through some of my boxes of books.

I was struck by the fact that I kept books by Taylor Caldwell, an unabashed conservative.

The nature of human beings never changes; it is immutable. The present generation of children and the present generation of young adults from the age of thirteen to eighteen is, therefore, no different from that of their great-great-grandparents. Political fads come and go; theories rise and fall; the scientific 'truth' of today becomes the discarded error of tomorrow. Man's ideas change, but not his inherent nature. That remains. So, if the children are monstrous today – even criminal – it is not because their natures have become polluted, but because they have not been taught better, nor disciplined. – On Growing Up Tough, chapter The Purple Lodge

and Ursla LeGuin who is not very conservative 

...I was taught as a child on my homeworld that Truth is a matter of imagination. The soundest fact may fail or prevail in the style of its telling: like that singular organic jewel of our seas, which grows brighter as one woman wears it and, worn by another, dulls and goes to dust. Facts are no more solid, coherent, round and real than pearls are. Bot are sensitive.  -opening paragraph of Left Hand of Darkness

while Toffler and several other "futurists" will be consigned to mulch.



  1. Its so very true. The adage about history repeating, the 4th turning, kondriaf cycles, all human nature, for thousands and thousands of years. The ingredients change, but the recipe is always the same.

  2. I am always slightly amused when I come across "Futurist" books. Seems to prove that anyone can make money with an idea if you convince enough people they "need" the information. Why the self help industry continues to pump out books every year that are basically common sense and thoughts one can find in the Bible and the historians and philosophers of old.

  3. I was not going to comment on this post because Toird said pretty much the same as I. But that first sentence by Ursla Leguin really is lingering and annoying me. Bob in B. R.

  4. Read your ancient Greek and Roman literature. What stands out is that we are the same as them inside. We stand on a flimsy edifice of learning and technology, but our nature is the same.

    It would be interesting to spend a few decades with ancient literature from a completely different culture. Then to compare the nature of those people to the Romans and Greeks as well as to our modern selves here in the west.


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